Ferrari is a truly amazing car company. With an illustrious history that spans the last 60 years and then some, the company currently sits at or near the top of both motorsports and the commerical arena in which it sells its Italian exotics. This year is Ferrari's 60th anniversary, and it's celebrating the milestone in a very Ferrari way, which is to say unlike anyone else. The festivities begain at the Italian embassy in Abu Dhabi today where Ferrari owners set out on a relay that will ultimately involve over 10,000 cars on a trip across China, Japan, Australia, South Africa, American and all of Europe. The trip is actually a relay, in which a special baton will be carried that bears 60 enamel symbols representing the 60 most important events in Ferrari's history. It's topped by a platinum and diamond prancing horse – very fitting.
At the start of the relay this morning, Piero Ferrari, son of company founder Enzo, gave a speech in which he also announced that the company will build and sell 60 very unique 612 Scagliettis. The cars will be offered in a two-tone livery with available colors that have graced the marque's most memorable models from year's past. Each will have a trick electrochromic glass roof, of which the degree of opacity can be infinitely adjusted by the driver. What will make each 612 the rarest of collectibles, however, is a small enameled symbol, presumably matching one of the the ones on the relay baton, set in the center tunnel of each car. We're guessing you won't be able to arrive at your Ferrari dealer and plunk down a deposit for one of these. Chances are you'll be invited by the company itself to purchaes one. I wouldn't hold your breath for the opportunity, however.
Check out Ferrari's full press release after the jump.
FERRARI'S 60TH ANNIVERSARY:
MARATHON ROUND THE WORLD CELEBRATORY RELAY OFFICIALLY STARTED IN ABU DHABI BY PIERO FERRARI AFTER ANNOUNCEMENT OF 60TH ANNIVERSARY CAR
Maranello ( Italy), January 29th 2007 – The marathon relay celebrating Ferrari's 60th anniversary started this morning from the Italian Embassy in Abu Dhabi at 10 a.m. local time. The relay will involve over 10,000 Ferrari owners and their cars of all ages. These will act as symbolic "bearers" of a specially commissioned relay baton adorned with 60 badges symbolising the most extraordinary events in the Marque's 60-year history.
Abu Dhabi was chosen as the start point for the relay – which after the Middle East makes its way across China, Japan, Australia, South Africa, America and the whole of Europe – as a result of plans to build a major Ferrari theme park plus a motor racing circuit on the island of Yas in the most rapidly developing area of the Emirates' capital.
Having left Abu Dhabi, the protagonists of the first leg of the relay headed for Dubai from where they will drive on to Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. The marathon relay will end at Maranello on June 23rd. The participants in the tour will be received at the various Italian embassies in the countries they pass through en route to Maranello. Also on June 16th, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will host a special ceremony at the Palazzo della Farnesina in Rome during which there will be a charity auction by Ferrari, the proceeds of which will be donated to needy children.
The relay was officially started by Piero Ferrari, Vice President of Ferrari and son of founder Enzo Ferrari. In his speech, Ferrari spoke about his father and his brilliant intuition in creating a Marque that has become a symbol of Italian talent and exclusivity across the world. He also praised Luca di Montezemolo who has, over the last 15 years, returned Ferrari to the very pinnacle of the sporting and commercial worlds.
The launch of a special celebratory anniversary series of cars was also announced at the start of the relay. The series will consist of just 60 unique cars, each one linked to one of the 60 most important events in the Prancing Horse's history, from the World titles won by Ascari and Schumacher to the launch of epoch-making models such as the GTO, the F40 and the Enzo, and also the people who have headed the company to the present day.
Ferrari embarks upon this 12 months of celebrations having just ended an exceptionally brilliant financial year that saw the Company post revenues of €1,447 million (+12.3% on 2005's takings) resulting in a trading profit of €183 million (+17%) and 5,650 deliveries to its worldwide dealership network, a new record.
The Relay Baton
The relay baton was designed and created to symbolise Ferrari's history and is topped by a dazzling platinum and diamond Prancing Horse made by Damiani. It also features 60 enamel symbols designed by the Intesta e D'Adda, Lorenzini, Vigorelli and BBDO advertising agencies, and by creative talents Alessandro Migliorini of Area Creativa, Marco Morosini, Enzo Naso of the eponymous studio and Wolfgang Seidl of Seidldesign.
Ferrari Theme Park
Scheduled to open in 2009, the new Ferrari Theme Park will cover a massive 250,000 sq m and will feature 24 themed attractions for all the family, including a 70-metre-high G-Force Tower and a twin rollercoaster ride that for the first time allows races against each other. Moreover, there are go-karting, rally driving and dune buggy tracks, and a vast array of food and beverage outlets.
In addition to the Ferrari Park, however, the 2,500-hectare Yas Island will also host a motor racing circuit, signature hotels, apartments, villas, a wide selection of restaurants, a retail area of about 300,000 sq m, golf courses, a water park, a tourist marina, a hotel overlooking the lagoon and numerous food and beverage outlets that will create a unique international tourist destination.
The Ferrari Theme Park project and construction, as well as the whole Yas Island development is by Aldar Properties, and the total investment for the Park is of around US$600 million.
60 unique Ferraris
As part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, Ferrari will build a series of 60 truly unique cars. These will be based on the 612 Scaglietti, the Prancing Horse's range-topping Granturismo which combines blistering performance and superb handling with superior comfort, sumptuous handcrafted trim, state-of-the-art accessories and meticulous attention to detail.
The cars will be offered with a two-tone livery in a combination of classic Ferrari colours as used on some of the Prancing Horse's most memorable models. The interior appointments will feature sophisticated colour combinations and a stunning new-generation electrochromic glass roof, itself a major innovation. The degree of opacity of the roof, in fact, can be adjusted to suit the occupants' requirements.
To underline the exclusivity of this series of one-offs, each example will also boast an enamelled symbol set on the central tunnel representing one of the 60 historic events chosen to celebrate the Marque's anniversary.
The result is a true collector's car aimed at Ferrari's most dedicated clients.
Ferrari 60th Anniversary Relay in the UK
Ferrari GB will host the 60th Anniversary relay between 18-22 April and the tour will visit every Ferrari dealership in the UK, with a series of activities which will involve Ferrari's most enthusiastic clients and fans. Further details about the UK leg of the Ferrari 60th Anniversary Relay will be communicated by Ferrari GB in due course.